Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 – This Fellow Welcomes Sinners and Eats with Them

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3So he told them this parable:

11b“There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”‘ 20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one-and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.'”

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to a time you remember being embraced and welcomed home. 
  • Notice the love and compassion that blankets you as you are embraced.
  • I wonder what part of you desires to be welcomed home today?
  • Do a scan of your interior space, noticing tension or discomfort that desires to be welcomed home today.
  • Embrace this place in you with love and compassion.
  • Breathe deeply into this place and feel the Breath of God showering you with compassion.
  • Rest in compassion.
  • I wonder who you will encounter today with the desire to be welcomed home.
  • How might you embrace this brother or sister with love and compassion?
  • Will you sit and have a meal together?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 – Ambassadors for Christ

2 Corinthians 5:16-21

16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. 17So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. 20So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your focus to the compassionate, healing Christ.
  • In the last day or so, how has Christ accompanied you?
  • Embrace these moments and the feelings that arise.  
  • Take a deep breath and  feel the peace in Christ.
  • As you go into the world today, notice how you desire to respond in Christ.
  • Let Compassion lead you.
  • In Christ you are a new creation.
  • If the old tries to get your attention, re-focus on Christ.
  • In Christ, how are you a transforming vessel of love?
  • How are you an ambassador for Christ?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Psalm 32 – Break the Silence

Psalm 32

1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,

whose sin is covered.

2Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,

and in whose spirit there is no deceit.


3While I kept silence, my body wasted away

through my groaning all day long.

4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;

my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah


5Then I acknowledged my sin to you,

and I did not hide my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”

and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah


6Therefore let all who are faithful

offer prayer to you;

at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters

shall not reach them.

7You are a hiding place for me;

you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah


8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

9Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,

whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,

else it will not stay near you.


10Many are the torments of the wicked,

but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD.

11Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, O righteous,

and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring attention to the transgression in you that desires to be named out loud today.
  • Break the silence.  Describe the transgression.  Be released of the guilt.
  • Invite God dialogue to lead you and guide you to a new place.
  • Embrace the forgiveness God has for you.
  • Be open to the new ways God will lead you closer to God.
  • Resist torments of the wicked.
  • Be focused on the Compassionate One who loves you always.
  • Rejoice in God and notice how God rejoices in you.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.

Joshua 5:9-12 – Eating the Crops of the Land

Joshua 5:9-12

9The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.

10While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. 11On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. 12The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • Bring your attention to the awareness of God’s provision for you.
  • Embrace this awareness.  
  • Remember how God was feeding and nurturing you in a time of need.
  • Do you recall the moment, the shift, when the veil was lifted and you were able to “eat the produce of the land”?
  • Gilgal means “circle of stones.”
  • Look for the circle of stones God has placed around you to name and to glorify God and your relationship.
  • What do these stones represent for you?
  • Pick up a stone and carry it in your pocket today to remind you to be aware of God’s provision for you today.
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 31, 2019, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year C)

  • Joshua 5:9-12
  • Psalm 32
  • 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
  • Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

(c) 2019 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD.  Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  Please give credit to author.